Indiana Lawmakers Call for Constitutional Reforms

Published March 25, 2016

The Indiana General Assembly approved a joint resolution calling for a national constitutional convention to draft and enact a federal balanced budget amendment, impose term limits on members of Congress, and create reforms that would reduce federal regulations.

Indiana is the sixth state to endorse the proposal. Once 34 state legislatures approve the same resolution, Congress is required to call for a convention, at which point the states take control of the process.

In February, the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate approved the resolution. The legislature was helped by the Citizens for Self-Governance’s (CSG) Convention of States Project.  CSG is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the restoration of state and local authority across the United States.

Reining in Washington, DC

Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says the resolution has several goals.

“What we’re calling for is a convention to propose amendments to the [U.S.] Constitution, to impose fiscal restraint on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and impose term limits on federal government officials, which would include judges,” Holdman said.

No Runaway Conventions

Holdman says the fear of a “runaway convention,” in which delegates would offer unrelated amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is unfounded.

“They can actually be charged with a felony back in Indiana if they intentionally act against the will of the legislature, with regards to a convention and the topics that are discussed,” Holdman said. “We have the framework in place, and it is my understanding that we have a number of states who are working on the same language. We have basically provided a model for other states to use in establishing ‘faithful delegate’ rules.”

People Power

Rob Natelson, a senior fellow at the Independence Institute, says the Article V convention process gives the American people the authority to address problems the Founding Fathers may not have anticipated.

“This is a constitutional right that Americans have,” Natelson said. “Reforming their federal government, acting through their state legislators. This is a constitutional right, like the right to vote or the right to free speech. With constitutional rights, either you use it or lose it, so we better use it.”

Luke Karnick ([email protected]) writes from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Internet Info:

David Guldenschuh, “The Article V Movement: A Comprehensive Assessment to Date and Suggested Approach for State Legislators and Advocacy Groups Moving Forward,” The Heartland Institute, November 16, 2015: